The forest laden Medvednica mountain complex is situated in the northern backdrop of Zagreb. It shelters the city throughout all its length. The main massif is 24 km long, with the highest summit, Sljeme (1,033 m), rising in the middle and dominating the landscape. Numerous vales with creeks, so characteristic of the form of Medvednica, spread towards the city and the Croatian Zagorje. The entire Medvednica is covered with lush forest vegetation with a total area of approximately 130 sq. km. The predominant sorts of trees in the lower foothills of the mountain are oak, hornbeam and
edible chestnut. Beech trees in combination with the previously enumerated sorts of trees, cover most of the area forming a unique beech belt and finally mingling with fir. Close to the summit, there is plenty of ash and maple, and the rare and protected species of tisa can be found on isolated slopes. Medvednica is interesting in the geological respect also, harboring underground channels and the Veternica cave (more than 6 km long). Numerous paths and forest trails give easy accessibility to Medvednica from all sides in order to satisfy the needs of mountaineers and
hikers. A tourist cable car 4017 m long has been constructed and on the northern side, the ski lift caters to the needs of skiers. Tourist-recreational facilities are located on the summit of the mountain. Among the cultural and historical monuments on Medvednica, Medved-grad is the most significant (it is one of the largest castles in Croatia). It was built in the middle of the 13th century at an elevation of 600 m, in order to monitor the area of Zagreb. Presently, Medvedgrad is the site of the national memorial of the Unknown Homeland Defender.